Batteries, taken from VDL electric buses to get a second life 

Energy company RWE and VDL Bus & Coach have started a project to reuse ‘second life’ vehicle batteries from electric buses in the Netherlands in a project that provides a central storage system in Moerdijk. 

It is estimated that more than 150,000 tonnes of batteries will become available for recycling every year. These are currently classified as waste and mostly taken to recycling plants abroad. 

“In Project Anubis, we are initially using batteries taken from 43 electric VDL buses operated by Transdev in Eindhoven since 2016,” says Paul van Vuuren, CEO, VDL Bus & Coach. “These vehicles are currently getting new and larger battery packs, but the used batteries still have enough capacity to be used in stationary applications. 

“Providing a sustainable circular solution for our batteries is part of our strategy. However, its application still requires a lot of new knowledge and development. Together with RWE, we will therefore collect a lot of data in ‘Project Anubis’ so that we can contribute even more to making our society even more sustainable.” 

Bart Kraayvanger, manager ZE and facility support, Transdev Netherlands, adds: “In 2016, together with VDL, we took the first big steps towards zero emission bus transport in the Netherlands in Eindhoven. A major feat of pioneering, from which we have learned many important lessons. Now we are once again involved in these progressive and large-scale developments in the reuse of bus batteries.” 

The 43 batteries from the VDL electric buses, with a total storage capacity of 7.5 megawatts, will be coupled into one battery at the RWE power plant in Moerdijk. RWE is also working on battery projects in Germany, United Kingdom and the United States. RWE’s ambition is to grow capacity to 3 gigawatts in the coming years.